Monday, February 26, 2007

Councilor Sarah Leach - Hayes

Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Leach

Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Leach came to Hayes in 1913

Chairman of Hayes Women's Section for several years

She represented Hayes on Uxbridge Board of Guardians

Was chairman of Botwell Infant Welfare Committee from it's inception

A Sunday School teacher in her early years

Long time President of Botwell Sisterhood and West Middlesex Brotherhood Federation

Moved to 7 Eastcote Lane, Northolt in 1933

"Her sympathetic character endeared her to all among whom she worked

died March 1939 aged 58
Funeral at Northolt Parish Church


must be related to Robert John Leach (Engineer)
1 Clare Villas, Clarendon Rd, Hayes Urban District Council Chairman 1922-1923

Hayes Harvest "Gleaning" 1871

September 2, 1871

Not Allowed to Glean

Hayes Field of Wheat

In the Parish of Hayes by the roadside, there stood a large field of Wheat, often looked upon and admired by passers by. 

But a new custom has been introduced and the Farmer is not content with his goodly portion, but has positively orderd the field racked, so that, if possible there shall be none left for the "Gleaners"

The "Gleaners" were often the poor women and children of the Parish who, hoped to gather a few ears of corn to make into bread, after the farmer had harvested in order to stave off hunger.

Picture Joseph Arch, Agricultural Workers Union leader

Councillor Charlie Key

H.J.C. "Charlie" Key

24 Briar Way, West Drayton
Electrician, member of the Electricians Union, first elected to Hillingdon Council in 1964

Involved in West Drayton and Yiewsley community issues

Active in the Church of England

joined Labour Party in the 1940s circa 1947

Councillor Michael Craxton

Michael Craxton, 26 Park Road, Hayes End
Sales executive, member of TGWU, member of Greater London Arts Association, Hillingdon Arts. Involved in the establishment and support for the Beck theatre.

Joined Labour Party around 1947

First elected to Hillingdon Council 1971, Charville ward, Hayes

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mary Richardson - Peace Activist - Hayes

Mary Richardson - Peace Movement

Mary Richardson of 37 Rectory Way, Hayes, devoted her life to the Peace movement in West London

Her Husband Wally Richardson devoted all their spare time to Peace movement. particularly Greenham Common and together they set up Greenham Support Fund, through Hillingdon CND

Also took part in the occupation/work in of Hayes Cottage Hospital

Mary Richardson's funeral was held at Botwell Church, Botwell Lane, Hayes

As I recall Mary and Wally died within days of each other, well respected by the Labour Movement. Peter Fagan and many other Labour Councillors attended the funeral

date cirac 1986/1987

any more information welcome

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bill Dunn- Hanwell COHSE

Bill Dunn COHSE (1927-1983)

Bill Dunn COHSE Hanwell Ambulanceman was born in Liverpool 
on 8th March 1927. he died of cancer on St Patrick’s Day 17th March 1983 at the age of 56.

Anyone who met Bill could not fail to admire his courage and fighting spirit. There were many occasions during his life when he needed a considerable amount of both. One of a family of six, he was orphaned by the age of three and spent his childhood in Dr Barnardo's Homes or with foster parents.

It was during the time that he lived in Dr Barnardo's that he first learned about socialism and the trade union movement from no less a person than one of Labour's first women MPs, Bessie Braddock, who was a regular visitor.
Bill joined the Royal Marines at the age of sixteen, under a special arrangement with Dr Barnardo's and saw active service in various parts of the world during his fourteen years' service. He enjoyed the comradeship but hated the system. He had a strong dislike for what he regarded as petty rules and regulations. In fact, while in the marines he was promoted to the rank of lance corporal no less than six times, but, as Bill put it, 'I got busted every time'.

Bill suffered further personal tragedies during the war when he lost one brother on active service and another in a submarine accident in Liverpool Bay.
After leaving the armed services, Bill worked for a time with the Shell Oil company, traveling all over the world. Then he worked in a number of jobs before joining the London Ambulance Service in 1968. Such was his energy that, on his leaving an agent job to work for a plant hire firm, three men were taken on in his place.
Bill met his wife, Maureen, in1964 They were married in 1966 and had two daughters, Alison, now sixteen, and Claire, now thirteen.

I first met Bill when he attended the No. 6 Regional Council meeting in October, 1975, as delegate for Park Royal Branch. Within a few months he had formed a branch of COHSE at Hanwell Ambulance Station, Ealing, London which went on to become one of the biggest branches in the region. Bill was elected Regional Vice-Chairman in 1978, and Regional Chairman one year later, in 1979, a position he held until his death.
He was totally committed to socialism and the trade union movement, and made it clear that as Regional Chairman he expected to be involved with branches' problems. He travelled all over the region, giving support to members who needed it.
He was also active in the CND movement and took a special interest in mentally handicapped children.

It was absolutely typical of Bill to fight his last fight with the same courage as he had fought all his life — his way, head on. He refused to hide or run away. He attended every rally organised in the region during the last pay campaign,
although obviously he was in considerable pain and had difficulty in breathing. I remember suggesting to Bill on one occasion that I should hire a taxi to take him to the rallying point rather than walk. I will not repeat exactly what his reply was, suffice to say my Regional Chairman left me in no doubt that he intended to walk.
It is easy to feel despondent about the loss of someone who was so strong and seemed so indestructible, but to give up the struggle for all the things Bill believed in is just unthinkable. Rest in peace, brother. Your fight goes on.
(Tribute by Pat McGinley,
COHSE No. 6 North West Thames & Oxford Regional Secretary.)

Bill Dunn was one of the most important COHSE lay activist and showed great leadership especially, during the 1979 Ambulance Strike when his house and car were attacked by those opposed to the strike and he was also attacked by those on the ultra left, who condemned his insistence on “Emergency Cover” during the strike.
His support for nuclear disarmament at national COHSE conference was key in securing COHSE’s conference support

A Trophy the Mallinson – Dunn Trophy is awarded annual, since 1984, to an ambulance man or women for recognition of their work in COHSE now UNISON
A garden at the front of Hanwell Ambulance Station is dedicated to his memory
Note on COHSE Hanwell/Ealing branch
The Hanwell branch under Bill, included Ealing and Hillingdon Hospital at one time in the late 1970s. Hillingdon Hospital not reforming a branch until 1982 under Mike Lee a COHSE nursing Auxiliary (who later went onto the Football Association and European Football association fame) Then Michael Walker 1983-1991) and now Florence Portugal (1992-

Marion Way (NUPE Ambulance steward at Hillingdon, London Ambulance Service first women convenor and Labour Councillor, won the Mallinson-Dunn Trophy after it was adopted by UNISON)
Bill took the much photographed delegation from Ealing to TUC Conference in 1982 during the 12% campaign. Also spoke at LSE in 1982

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

London Women Tram Workers - Equal Pay Strike 1918

Women Tramworkers Equal Pay Strike 1918

Gazette, Friday August 23, 1918.
Tramless Uxbridge.
A woman workers surprise strike.

With startling suddenness Uxbridge and the whole of West Middlesex found itself tramless on Saturday through a strike of women workers. 

 The cause of the trouble was that whereas the award of the Committee on Production gave five shillings to the men it declined a similar concession to the women employees. Those employed on several services of the London United Tramway Company including the Shepherds Bush, Uxbridge line refused to start work on Saturday morning.

No intimation of their intentions was given and many early morning workers found themselves unable to get to business. The inconvenience increased during the day. People in the Hayes and Hillingdon districts who desired to get to Uxbridge or Southall to do their Saturday shopping were faced with the alternative of walking or going without provisions. There was no question of buying locally for many of the villages are rationed for meat, butter etc at town shops and were therefore in an awkward position.
The stoppage came as a thunder-bolt to many of the men conductors and drivers who had heard nothing about it as it had been more or less secretly organised by the women. One conductress thus explained the situation, "When we were taken on by the Company they promised to give us whatever rise the men had. We are doing just as much work as the men who realise the justice of our case and are supporting our strike."
Male employees who are opposed to the women's claim base their opposition to the fact that many conductresses are the wives of soldiers and are receiving separation allowances, whereas the men have families to support.
During the week the strike spread with startling rapidity. The bus employees in and around London joined with the tramway people and these were followed by tube girls.  
By Tuesday places affected included Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Folkestone, Hastings and Weston-Super-mare.
Sir George Asquith, the chief industrial commissioner, had held a number of conferences with the parties engaged in the dispute with the hope of arranging a settlement, but it was not until Wednesday night that an arrangement was reached.
A conference under the auspices of the National Transport Workers Federation was held in the morning and a resolution was passed committing the unions affiliated to the organisation of "Immediate appropriate and determined action" to enforce national adoption of equal pay for equal labour to women and men. The unions represented at the conference were the Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers London and the Provincial Union
of Licensed Vehicle Workers, National Union of Vehicle Workers, National Union of General Workers and Dock, Wharf and Riverside General Labourers Union.

The terms of the resolution adopted by the conference were sent to Sir George Asquith, chief industrial commissioner, and in the afternoon delegates from the conference were received by him. After discussion lasting four hours the following official announcement was made, "The three Unions concerned with representatives of the National Transport Workers Federation
met with Sir George Asquith today and after lengthy conference decided to recommend to the Executive Committee the following terms.

Resumption of work pending reference to the Committee on Production of interpretation of their awards, namely whether under Clause 14 of the Award of July 9 the Committee be understood to nullify any agreement or undertaking and in particular any such undertaking as is alluded to in Clause 4 of the Award
of March 8 and on the claim that equal total payments be made to women as to men for equal work in the tramway and omnibus, undertakings who were parties to the Award of March 8 and July 9 and that any present changes of payments are to date from the beginning of the first full pay day following July 9 and that any future changes of payments should take place jointly with those of the men. The Hearing will take place on Monday next at 2.30 and the Awards will be issued as speedily as possible."

In the Uxbridge district great inconvenience has been caused by the stoppages. Many of those who in the past decried the trams have now realised their worth, tradesmen have found a considerable falling off in their takings and many people have passed the remark "Doesn't it seem strange without trams?" Men on government work in the district have suffered by the stoppages, but at one big works motor lorries have been conveying men to and from work, trains have been more than usually uncomfortably packed and bicycles have been more generally used this week than for a long time past.

A large majority of women tram and bus conductresses joined unions by 1918. Many had been practically compelled by men members to join the union. The understanding was that they should be employed on exactly the same terms as men whilst their employment must terminate by the end of the war. In some cases women were employed on short shifts, but this policy was opposed by the Union. It was feared that any relief of this kind would not only give employers an excuse for deductions from wages, but add to men's hours of work. It might even have the undesirable effect of encouraging women's employment in the future. Women drivers who were entirely composed of commercial private employees formed a comparatively small section of members, probably less than 1/8th.

The larger number of women drivers involved for auxiliary war service were not encouraged by the government to join Trade Unions. Women tram and bus conductors who were well organised for a start, had little difficulty in obtaining men's minimum rates of wages, but the question of war advances was a matter of constant dispute. The important National Award for February 1918
which men received an aggregate advance of 20/- a week on pre-war rates, laid down that, "Where agreements or awards already exist providing the same rates to be paid to women as to men, such agreements or awards are to hold good and an increase to be paid accordingly." In the absence of such agreements, women were to receive only an advance of 4/- on the current rates.

The London Women Bus Conductresses were at once accorded the full bonus and a subsequent decision of the committee of production by which they were refused, a further advance of 51- met with such a determined resistance that the decision was reversed. All women were however by no means so
successful Outside London the women's claim had been prejudiced for the most part by the terms of previous awards by which they received not more than about two thirds of men's war advances.

In London, however, their claim was undeniable and here they secured the full sum of 20/-, bringing up their earnings to 63/- a week. In the following July a fresh appeal was made to arbitration, and men were granted a further advance of 5/- a week. But this time the women were left out. The award met with an unexpected storm of indignation. London women bus conductresses were not accustomed to such treatment. They had, moreover, begun to taste power. A protest meeting was held at once and they announced their intention to take drastic action unless their claim received attention. It did not receive attention.
It was apparently not even communicated by their Union to the Company. In August, therefore, the women struck work without further notice and the men came out after them.

The public were surprised and not a little inconvenienced, but its sympathies were in the main on the side of the women. Even The Times admitted the strength of the women's case which lay precisely in this - That their work was as well done as any man could do it and that everyone could see that it was.

The Committee of Production by which body the award had been given was obliged to yield to the storm and to re-consider its decision and the women won their case.
Such was the victory of the women tram drivers that Mary McArthur, the Leader of the Women's Union declared the award to be the absolute vindication of the principle for which we are contending.


The London United Tramways began operating a service between Southall and Uxbridge (along the Uxbridge Road) in May 1904.

At Uxbridge
Civic dignitaries gathered at the municipal boundaries to raise their bowler hats and wave an "open sesame" to the tram. The streets bedecked with flags and bunting, crowds lined the route to see the tram glide safely along. Hillingdon Band played and the bells of St Margaret's church rang out, children were given free rides, and a lunch was held for 90 prominent people in the Chequers Hotel
The first London Transport Trolley bus from Shepherds Bush to Uxbridge ran in November 1936 and last ran 8th November 1960
The Hayes Labour Party regularly called for a more regular and cheaper service from Hayes station (opended 1864) and the Hayes Communist Party in its 1945 manifesto called for the extension of the Underground line to Hayes.
Hayes Labour Councillors had been calling for a Tram line to replace the 207 bus route from the mid 1980's

Photo: Turin, Italy Women Tram Workers WW1

Monday, February 12, 2007

1925 Uxbridge Division Labour Party Officers

President Mr T Waterhouse,
Secretary & Agent Mr S. Gardner 115 West End Road, Southall

Uxbridge Trades Council
Chairman W Tulett
Secretary G.C. Gray 93 Bridge Road, Uxbridge
Treasurer Percy O Langton

Labour Party (Individual Members)
Chairman Mr Kingsford 63 Chilton View Road, Uxbridge
Secretary T. Dubberly 9 Waterloo Road, Uxbridge

Women's Labour Party
Chairman Mrs Spink the Bungalow, the Common, West Drayton
Secretary Mrs Dubberley, 9 Waterloo Road, Uxbridge

Indendent Labour Party (Uxbridge Branch)
President Mr E.A. Cave
Secretary Miss W Spink The Bungalow, The Common, West Drayton

Tom Parker - National Union of the Blind Trade General Secretary

Tom Parker

Councillor Tom Parker
Born in the Rhondda, South Wales.
Blinded at 16, a basket maker by trade

General Secretary of the National Union of the Blind

lead Uxbridge marchers on Aldermaston CND march

Leader of the Labour Group Uxbridge Urban District Council 1949-1964

Mayor 1960-1961

awarded OBE
Thomas J Parker, OBE
J A Wall writes:
Tom Parker died peacefully at his home in Pontypridd on August 11th 1995. He was aged 86.
Born fully sighted into a closely-knit Welsh mining community, he would have undoubtedly become a coal miner if blindness had not supervened. At the age of 12, following an accident, he lost the sight in one eye and went to a school for the blind. Four years later, following an unsuccessful operation on his good eye, he became totally blind.
Tom’s first job was at the local sheltered workshop. He joined the National League of the Blind, the Trade Union which represented employees in workshops, and by the age of 20 he was Branch Chairman. Three years later, he was elected Area Secretary and became a member of the National Executive Council.
In 1936, he was elected full-time paid organiser for the National League of the Blind in London and the South of England. He held this post for 33 years. In 1969, he was elected General Secretary of the League, and then, ten years later, retired at the age of 70.
Tom was all his life a keen member of the Labour Party. In 1946, he was elected to the Middlesex County Council, the first time that Uxbridge had been represented on the County Council by a member of the Labour Party. In 1949, he lost his seat on the County Council, but was almost immediately elected to what was then the Uxbridge Urban District Council. By 1960, Uxbridge had become a Borough and Tom was elected Mayor. He continued to be a member of Uxbridge Borough Council until it was dissolved on 31 March 1965, and then became a member of Hillingdon London Borough Council. He continued on that Council until 1968.
While Mayor, Tom raised money to found an old people's welfare centre, which continues to flourish. But his political interests were not limited to the local scene. In 1951, he stood as Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Ruislip-Northwood. He did not win, but got the highest Labour vote ever recorded in the Constituency. In 1964, he stood for Parliament in the apparently safe Conservative seat of Uxbridge. Again he was defeated, but by the very narrow margin of 600 votes.
Both as a Trade Unionist and as a Labour Party politician, Tom was a formidable protagonist. When negotiating with the old London County Council, he did not flinch from confronting Herbert Morrison, at the time a leading Labour Party politician. Tom fought hard and successfully for the rights of blind workers in the sheltered workshops.
Until 1970, the National League of the Blind had not taken much of a part in the activities of Royal National Institute for the Blind. In that year, however, Tom was elected a member of the Executive Council. Just as had happened in Trade Union and Labour Party politics, Tom was soon at the forefront of RNIB affairs. With his interests in employment, he became Vice-Chairman of the Rehabilitation, Training and Employment Sub-Committee (1976-92), and Chairman of the Vocational and Social Services Committee (1982-92). He was from 1980-88 Vice-Chairman of the International Committee.
Practical flair
One of his big achievements was to be the founding Chairman of the Consumers Sub-Committee (1975-92). His practical flair meant that, from the outset, that Sub-Committee played a full part in evaluating new equipment designed for blind people.

Radio has always been important for blind people but, in his nature, Tom was not just a passive listener. In 1938, he was one of the first blind people to obtain a Radio Amateur's Licence, and he continued this interest until his dying day. It was natural that the RNIB should appoint him as one of the representatives on the Committee of the British Wireless for the Blind Fund, and he served as Vice-Chairman of that Fund until 1995 and was Chairman of its Technical Committee. He was,justly proud that, under his chairmanship, the Technical Committee developed a radio/cassette player
Tom interest in blind affairs was not limited to the United Kingdom. As long ago as 1949, he had visited Holland and gave blind organisations in that country invaluable help in rebuilding facilities destroyed during World War II. In the 1960s, he visited the United States, and joined the International Federation of the Blind (IFB). At that time, there was o some tension between the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind (a `for' organisation) and the International Federation of the Blind (an `of organisation). Tom had a foot in both camps. From 1970-84 he was First Vice-President of the IFB.
World Blind Union
Like other men of good will, Tom considered the division between IFB and WCWB to be both unnecessary and damaging. Merger discussions had foundered.Tom hit upon the bright idea of suggesting that both organisations should be dissolved, and a new organisation (the World Blind union) founded. This happened at both world level and in Europe.
Tom as appointed an Honorary Life Member of both the World Blind Union and the European Blind Union. He was 75, and many people of his age would have decided that it was time to hang up their boots. But Tom still had much to give. He was appointed to the Rehabilitation, Training and Employment Committee of the World Blind Union. More important, he became the first Chairman of the EBU Commission for liaising with the European Economic Community. He held this post for six years.
Many honours were conferred on Tom. He received the Louis Braille Medal; and, at the age of 80, the Help the Aged Golden Award as `Intrepid Traveller'. On his retirement from the Executive Council of RNIB in 1995, he was appointed an Honorary Vice President of the Institute, a unique honour for a blind person.
So much for history, but what was Tom like as a man? He was happily married, and very proud of his son, Brian, grandchildren and great-granddaughters. He was greatly saddened when his wife died, and, before that, when his son, like himself, became blind as a child. His daughter-in-law, Muriel, helped him a great deal in his later years.
He was a warm-hearted Welshman, who never lost his Welsh accent or his Welsh patriotism. He was essentially a practical man who was much more at home looking at new equipment for blind people than in tackling abstract ideas. He was always alert and willing to help blind people, whether in the United Kingdom, Europe or the wider world. He was always good for a `soundbite'. He was loyal to his friends and loyal to the causes which he championed.
Above all, by his example and by sheer hard work, he showed to the world what blind people could do for themselves.
He once said that blindness had never prevented him from doing what he wanted to do. Tom’s many friends mourn his loss, and extend to his family our deep sympathy.
J A Wall is Chairman of RNIB.

Radio has always been important for blind people but, in his nature, Tom was not just a passive listener. In 1938, he was one of the first blind people to obtain a Radio Amateur's Licence, and he continued this interest until his dying day. It was natural that the RNIB should appoint him as one of the representatives on the Committee of the British Wireless for the Blind Fund, and he served as Vice-Chairman of that Fund until 1995 and was Chairman of its Technical Committee. He was,justly proud that, under his chairmanship, the Technical Committee developed a radio/cassette player specially designed to meet the

In 1984, Tom Parker received the Merite Typhlophile Francais, awarded by the French Federation of the Blind - one many honours conferred on him during his long career. This photo appeared in the Pontypridd Observer to commemorate the occasion.

also see leader of blind hunger marchers ex Middlesex County Councillor

Hayes Labour Attide to WW1 (Update)

Hayes and World War One -WW1

It is clear despite a significant minority of the Labour Party opposing World War One, The vast majority of the British Labour Party ended up supporting the War, and it seems this division was reflected locally in Hayes, West Middlesex.

While there may have been concerns about the War by Hayes Labour Association founder Percy Langton, accusing the “gutter press ” of having “done more to bring about this war than the Kaiser.”

The German invasion of neutral Belgium and abuses of Belgium civilians had swung support to the pro War lobby.

Former Hayes Urban District Labour Councillor, Henry Palmer, who had by 1915 emigrated to Canada stated

“We are fighting a just and right war and one that was forced on us to keep our honor we were bound to help the weak and those of us who have to give up our sons to go, know that if they never come back they died doing their duty for their country. Both of my sons have gone and if they never come back I say God’s will be done

Henry Palmer; Stratford Canada December 1915

Henry Palmer, like so many paid a heavy price for his beliefs, both his sons were killed by the end of the War. William Alfred Palmer Eastern Ontario Reg (Killed 26th April 1916 Woods Cemetery, Belgium). Lieutenant Henry Arthur Palmer Central Ontario Reg (killed 30th September 1918 Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery, Nord France)

Leanold W Spencer Uxbridge ILP Secretary (Belmont Road,Uxbridge) was also killed, 1st September 1915. shot in head aged just 26. He had been a founder member of Uxbridge Labour Party and was the first man to motor cycle up Snowdon, Wales

L.W Spencers, Regiment took major loses and he underwent terrible ordeal suffer from hunger, thirst, sleepless nights and 7 months on constant bombardment, he slept with his motorcycle by his side doing his Christian socialist duty
13th Kensington Battalion Cyclist Orderly he is buried at Longuenesse St Omer

At Uxbridge, Labour Councillor Robert Hudson got caught up with the jingoism of the day in stating that “We are all British before Party”

A more main stream Labour Party view of the War was stated by Labour Perspective Parliamentary Candidate for Uxbridge Parliamentary Division (which included Hayes) Harry Gosling (Later TGWU President) at a meeting in Harefield in late1918

“I hate war and militarism but I would object to anyone taking a liberty with me (?) I believe country was absolutely right in the action it took, but it need not mean that they should go on fighting for ever and ever, the war must be settled”

In Hayes the immediate impact of the War was improved wages offered by the factory owners, (and huge numbers of women rushed to new jobs - some soilders wrote to complain about their pay compared to these young women's) as the factories switched from consumer goods to War goods. This no doubt also muffled opposition to the War in Hayes

As the impact of the War hit home, food prices rocketed and rents often doubled, there was growing local support for those that protested, such as the local National Union of Railwaymen’s branches protest at price of food “ which they viewed with alarm and extreme dissatisfaction the present high prices of food “

On Rent’s, Labour Councillor Juan Drenon was at the forefront of the campaign to expose “profiteering” by Private Landlords. It was stated that “Rents in 1915 were 3s above that charged pre-War”

Councillor Drenon in a blistering attack in July 1915 stated,

"The patriotism of many so called patriots, starts and ends with their pockets. It was the same with the coal owners who grew fat out of the country’s needs and risk the country’s safety rather than give the colliers a living wage”

By November 1915, Councillor Drenon was so concerned about the situation with regard to rents that he called for the establishment of a Tenants Defense League similar to that established elsewhere.

Councillor Drenon had also taken into his home a number of Belgium refugees (500,000 nationally), the Belgium's being the first wave if immigrants to arrive in Hayes looking for work in the Munition factories.

Hayes Belgium Relief Fund was established by Hayes Labour Councillor Mr Herbert Rhodes on October 23rd 1914 and its primary purpose was care for the Belgium refugees, especially mothers and children. by 1916 it was looking after one hundred families in Hayes alone. (a number of the refugees was from Louvain, Belgium). Hayes also saw a regular Belgium Flag Day to raise money

Elsewhere, in West Middlesex the harsh treatment and eviction of those with husbands and sons in the Armed Forces was typified by the heartless eviction of Mr and Mrs Fort aged 73 and 69 respectively, residing at Copthall Farm, Ickenham, who had five out of six sons in the army and one son in a restricted occupation. This eviction was not uncommon and showed the scant regard business showed to the poor during the War.

Little wonder, that the Hayes Labour Party was supportive of the principle of £1 a week for soldiers and their dependents .

In the early part of 1918 the Thames & Medway region of the National Amalgamated Union of Labour organised a delegation to visit the troops in the front line, This delegation included locally Hayes Labour Councillor Woodward. Woodward stated in Febuary 1918 that

“The impression the trip made upon him, an impression that was shared by every member of the NAUL party was the fighting must continue until a clean and lasting peace is assured”

“The only complaint I heard from Tommy was about the smallness of there pay… compared to that earned in the munitions factories”.

When conscription was introduced, a local Uxbridge branch of the No Conscription was established, primarily consisting of ILP members and included Norman Cox (Hillingdon)and Adam Priestley (Northwood). Most conscientious objectors received short shrift and were handed over to the military authorities and ultimately prison.

At Harrow School, the school boys organised a strike in order to remove a Teacher, Mr Sutherland from employment because he was a conscientious objector

In total 16,000 men refused to fight of whom most were pacifists, 7,000 acted as stretcher bearers and suffered high casualty rates.

A unique letter home from Reginald Hamaton of Hillingdon who was in the Army of Occupation in (Cologne) Germany in January 1919, shines a small light on the situation in Germany.

“We are very lucky here as we are in Jerry’s peace time barracks, and have nice single cots, pillows, and soft beds, plenty of coal for the fire, “bags” of electric light, etc. We are not allowed to walk or talk with the civilian population…..I suppose this is the place where they make the Eau de Cologne, but I have not seen any about. Of course, I cannot speak any German, and it is hard to understand the people, but they are very nice and treat us very good – far better than I thought would be the case. It is funny to see Jerry’s bicycles with the patent spilings for tyres. As you know, he has no rubber, and his motor lorries have iron tyres, and it makes the people look when they see all ours using rubber. Another thing they are very short of soap”.

At the end of the War, what is of note is the refusal of the Labour councillors and therefore the Hayes UDC to mark or participate in the victory and peace celebrations carried out by nearly every other council in the country.


Belgium refugees monument, South Bank, London

Belgium's can therefore claim to be the fist immigrants to Hayes (excluding people from Wales and North of England)

Independent Labour Party (ILP) Uxbridge, Headquarters at Rockingham Hall,Uxbridge

Private Carl Siebenhuhner, German Prisoner Drowned at Denham
While bathing in the river Colne at the prisoner of War camp, Denham Lodge, on Saturday 9 August 1919, a German prisoner named Siebenhuhner got out of hid depth.
He was unable to swim, and seeing that he was in difficulties, his comrades immediately went to his assistance, but without success and the body disappeared. Dragging operations were at once instituted, and the body was recovered from the water in less than a hour,
At the inquest held at the Lodge on Tuesday evening, by Mr A. E. Charsley coroner for South Buckinghamshire a verdict of accidental death was returned.
The deceased, who was twenty seven years of age was a single man, and had been a prisoner of war since 1916. the accident was particularly unfortunate as he was expecting to return to his home in Germany shortly.
The funeral of private Carl Siebenhuhner took place at Denham on Wednesday,
The coffin covered with a flag, and surmounted with a couple of wreaths of holly and evergreens from his comrades, was placed on one of the motor lorries, and the cortege moved off from the camp at Denham Lodge with a firing party of the Royal Fusiliers leading and the whole of the Prisoners of War numbering about forty, following behind the coffin.
In addition to the two wreaths on the coffin, one of the German prisoners carried a beautiful wreath of white carnations subscribed for by all his comrades.
The first portion of the burial service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev G.C Battiscombe, was taken in the church and afterwards six of his comrades, specially chosen because of their near residence to him in Germany bore the coffin to the grave. Here the rector concluded the burial service, three volleys were fired and the last post sounded.
The coffin bore the inscription Siebenhuhner, Carl 133rd Infantry Regiment, died August 9th 1919, aged 27One of the wreaths was from his friend Erde

Keith Toms - Harrow

Keith Toms

London North West Constituency Labour Candidate
15th June 1989
Born in South Wales, Keith has lived in the Constituency for the past twenty-five
He is married to a school teacher and has three sons.
Educated at Reading and Brunel Universities, he taught for eighteen years, mainly in the East End of London.
A Councillor for the London Borough of Harrow, Keith is presently deputy
leader of the Labour Group.
He was the Parliamentary candidate for Harrow West in 1983.
Keith was active in the campaign for the Pinner and Northwood Cottage Hospital in 1982 and has consistently fought against cuts in the Health Service.
Keith is a member of the National Union of Teachers and of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

 Northwick Park Rotary club
 Our speaker on 3 August 2011 was Honorary Alderman of the London Borough of Harrow and past mayor of the borough, Keith Toms. Born in the valleys of South Wales to a mining father and a mother of gypsy descent, life at home started for him with an abundance of politics and emotion. After winning a scholarship, he came to England in 1959. He married in 1961 and they will be celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary in September this year. Keith pursued his joint careers as a committed left-wing socialist and educationalist. His membership of the Communist Party of Great Britain came to an abrupt end when he was expelled and subsequently he joined the Labour Party. His studies were interrupted by being arrested for rioting on 5 occasions, the last being during the infamous Grosvenor Square riot on 17 March 1968. He then turned to a career in education in Harrow whilst maintaining a strong interest in politics and the trades union movement. He helped prevent the closure of Northwood and Pinner Cottage Hospital and was active in supporting the miners during the three-day week and during the Miners Strike. The opportunity to serve as a local councillor arose, and he served continuously for 32 years. He stood for Parliament in 1983 and for the European Parliament in 1989 and was unsuccessful on both occasions. He stood down as a councillor in 2006 and to his great amazement was offered, by unanimous vote, the post of Honorary Alderman of the London Borough of Harrow by the then ruling Conservative Party! He then set about designing his own robes and regalia since his was the first incumbent in the Borough. He finished his talk by asking for a volunteer to model the costume. Well done Keith!

Recalling a day in 1989 when Cllr Karen Livsey and myself spent a day in a car with a speaker strapped to the roof roaming the whole of Hayes - and we still did not win thanks to the Green surge